Reds regrouping in ‘Yolanda’ areas – OPPAP

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The “whole of government initiative” will be delivered to Yolanda-hit communities affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda that have been classified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as CPP-NPA “affected and/or threatened” in the Samar-Leyte areas, a top official of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process (OPAPP) said.

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“The Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice and Peace to explore ways to gain ground through a systematic delivery of government programs and services in insurgency-affected communities that were also practically wiped out by the typhoon,” said OPAPP assistant secretary for policy Jennifer Oreta during Wednesday’s strategic planning here.

Oreta added that the situation poses several openings for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to intensify agitation in the areas, capitalizing on the perceived inefficiency of the government to address the humanitarian crisis, and use it as platform to recruit disgruntled individuals affected by typhoon.

“Legal and underground organizations in the Samar-Leyte areas were disrupted by Yolanda and consequently the CPP-NPAs’ influence was also upset so they will attempt to regroup themselves,” the official added.

“It is therefore imperative to have peace-conflict sensitivity in doing rehabilitation and reconstruction works,” Oreta stressed.

The government had identified the target Yolanda-affected communities wherein peace initiatives will be done along with the rehabilitation works in the towns of Sta. Rita, Basey, Villareal and Marabut in Samar; Hernani, Llorente and Gen. Mac Arthur in Eastern Samar; Carigara, Jaro, Dagami, Burauen, Albuera to include Ormoc City in Leyte.

Among the immediate needs and intervention that the government will provide are food and water relief support; shelter and reconstruction; peace, order and security aspects; livelihood, employment and
commerce; and in areas of health and education.

Relatedly, the Sangguniang Panlungod (SP) of Tacloban City on Wednesday passed a resolution asking President Benigno Aquino 3rd to provide additional funds for the city’s operations.

The resolution authored by Councilor Cristina Romualdez, the committee on finance chairman, stressed that the current budget of the city government was not enough to support the current needs of the city.

The local government is asking for some P363 millions augmentation fund, said Romualdez.

Last week the city council approved the 2014 amended budget of the city government amounting to some P550 million.

PNA

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